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How To Build A Clay Sculpture

Updated on May 4, 2011

Clay is an easy to use and popular material used to make sculptures. Polymer clay can be used to make simple sculptures. A kiln can be used to harden the material but is not necessary. You can use a conventional oven in the comfort of your own kitchen, instead.


1) Have a picture, sketch or the actual object you are going to sculpt in front of you. Are you sculpting a human, an animal, an object?

2) Make sure you have the supplies needed to build a sculpture. You will need polymer clay, aluminum foil, metal wire, and sculpting tools. You can purchase these supplies at an art/craft store.

3) Start to build the supporting framework of your object in which you will apply the clay. You can build this supporting structure by crumpling 18 inches of aluminum foil. This will act as the base platform. If you are sculpting an animal or a human, the aluminum can act as the base of the body. Shape the base to appear as the torso of the body.

4) Cut wire strips and insert them into the foil. The wire will be used in places where there is need of support. For example, you can use the wire as hands and legs. Bend the wire to shape the appendages.

5) You can choose to add clay to the wire if you want skinny appendages. If you want thick appendages, add more foil and then add the clay.

6) Cut the block of clay. Knead he clay until it becomes flexible. Apply the clay to the wire and foil. Make sure the clay goes on smoothly and all the spots are covered. Use your fingers to smooth out the clay.

7) Use clay sculpting tools to add features to your sculpture. Add facial features and other details.

8) Shape and add feet to your sculpture with clay.

9) Put your sculpture in a kiln or an oven. Most small sculptures can be put in an oven at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes.



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      Lee 3 years ago


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      Margie Davis 5 years ago

      I want to try this. You made it seem so simple. Thanks so much!!!